cherry wrote:My husband (age 41) has been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for about 16 years. HE has pain on his back in the shoulder and neck area and has been on NSAIDs (Vioxx, Cerebrex, Tilur retard in that order) all these years. Recently, on the recomendation of his new doctor he began taking omega 3 tablets. Simultaneously, after reading about the benefits of certain foods, he began to include ginger, turmeric, millets etc in his diet. But his pain has become so severe that NSAIDs don't seem to help any more. We're sure these foods will have benefits in the long term, but do you have any suggestions for immediate relief?
Immediate relief is a tall order! Usually, if NSAID's don't work, the rheumatologist will progress to steroids, anti-cancer drugs, biologicals, etc. There are a variety of new treatment strategies for RA that look very promising for most, and actually work very well for many even right now.
If you are looking for a more natural solution, you might try MSM, taken both internally and applied externally to the involved joints. RA sufferers in particular seem to respond quickly to MSM, but don't count on results in 20 minutes -- we're talking weeks, perhaps even a month before getting results. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate both work on the premise of rebuilding the joint surfaces, with pain reduction as a result, but it takes time.
You might also want to consult an expert in prolotherapy and see what they have to offer you, although this is definitely an invasive procedure involving injections. Another option is to make sure the joint alignment is optimized by seeing a chiropractor -- you might be surprised by the percentage of joint pain that is due to simple misalignment rather than the arthritis itself.
In addition to adding helpful items to the diet, consider abstaining from foods that are thought to aggravate RA. Nightshade plants, dairy products, and meat have all been implicated in RA, with varying degrees of evidence to back up the claims. As long as the diet is not lacking vital micro- and macro-nutrients overall, there is no harm in trying to abstain from some of these items and see if it helps.